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Animal lovers' calendar: Weekend of Feb. 13-14 and beyond

February 11, 2010 |  9:14 am

Valentine dogs

Pets may not be able to eat Valentine's Day chocolates, but that doesn't mean they can't celebrate the holiday in style! We were, quite frankly, shocked by the sheer volume of animal-friendly events this Valentine's Day weekend (take a look -- we bet you'll be overwhelmed too). We've got the details on the weekend's festivities as well as a number of others in the coming weeks and months. (Are we forgetting something? Let us know by leaving a comment.)

This Weekend:

Friday-Sunday, Feb. 12-14, Orange County-based organization Capistrano Animal Rescue Effort (CARE) holds an adoption event in connection with PetSmart Charities' Second Chance for Love adoption weekend. Throughout the weekend at San Juan Capistrano's PetSmart location, 33963 Doheny Park Road, meet CARE's adoptable animals from noon to 4 p.m. More information on the CARE event and photos of adoptable animals at CapoAnimalRescue.com; to find another PetSmart adoption event, check out PetSmartCharities.org.

Saturday, Feb. 13 (postponed from its original Feb. 6 date due to weather concerns), join the Capistrano Animal Rescue Effort (CARE) for its seventh annual CARe exhibition of vintage and classic cars with proceeds benefiting the group's work on behalf of needy animals.  The event takes place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, 25925 Camino del Avion, and also features a live band, food from Ruby's Diner, a disc dog demonstration, prize drawings and more.  Guest admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children aged 11 to 17 and free for children aged 10 or younger.  For more information or to learn how to exhibit your own car at the event, visit CapoAnimalRescue.com.

Saturday, Feb. 13, the L.A. Department of Animal Services holds mobile pet-adoption events in Rancho Palos Verdes at Fred Hesse Jr. Memorial Park, 29301 Hawthorne Blvd., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and in West L.A. at Giant Robot 2, 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. See photos of adoptable pets at the department's website.

Saturday, Feb. 13, spcaLA hosts PAWS to Read at the Hermosa Beach Library, 550 Pier Ave., from 10:30 a.m. to noon.  Through the PAWS to Read program, children practice their reading skills by reading to a decidedly nonjudgmental audience: certified therapy dogs. Beginning and independent young readers up to age 12 are eligible to participate; the program is free, but advance registration is recommended. More information at spcaLA.com.

Saturday, Feb. 13, the Friends of Herman Dog Park presents an "Adopt a Valentine" event at the L.A. Department of Animal Services' North Central shelter, 3201 Lacy Street, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event includes animal-themed vendors, music, games, face-painting and discounted adoption fees for homeless dogs and cats.

Saturday, Feb. 13, spcaLA invites potential "foster parents" to learn about its fostering program from 10 a.m. to noon at its South Bay Pet Adoption Center, 12910 Yukon Ave., Hawthorne. "Foster parents" are needed to care for puppies and kittens that are too young to be adopted, as well as older dogs and cats with special needs. More information at spcaLA.com. (The L.A. Department of Animal Services offers a similar program for underage puppies and kittens; more information on that program is available at the department's website.)

Saturday, Feb. 13, festive dogs and their owners are invited to the "Mutti Gras" pet parade and costume contest at the Original Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax in L.A. from 1 to 2 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to the event's best-dressed dogs, and local rescue group Bark Avenue Foundation will be on hand with adoptable pets from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Owners can register their pets in advance by visiting Three Dog Bakery's Farmers Market location; more information and directions at FarmersMarketLA.com.

Saturday, Feb. 13, dog owners can celebrate Valentine's Day a little early with their pets at Culver City's Zoom Room agility training center, 11836 Teale Street, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Refreshments for both people and pets are provided. Cost is $5 and space is limited; for more information and reservations, visit ZoomRoomOnline.com.

Sunday, Feb. 14, celebrate Valentine's Day with the rescued farm-animal residents of Acton sanctuary Animal Acres beginning at 11 a.m. The sanctuary will offer tours every hour from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and encourages guests to bring a (vegan) lunch and picnic alongside the animals. Donations benefit Animal Acres' Emergency Rescue Fund. More information at AnimalAcres.org.

Sunday, Feb. 14, the L.A. Department of Animal Services' East Valley shelter, 14409 Vanowen Street in Van Nuys, invites potential pet adopters to its "My Furry Valentine" event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event features music, refreshments, face-painting and discounted adoption fees.

Sunday, Feb. 14, the Bark Avenue Foundation hosts a pet adoption event at the Original Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax in L.A. from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information or to view adoptable animals online, visit BarkAvenueFoundation.org.

Sunday, Feb. 14, Amoeba Music holds a pet adoption event at its Hollywood store, 6400 Sunset Blvd., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adoptable dogs and cats from the Animal Advocates Alliance and area animal shelters will be on hand to meet potential adopters. Come for the Pet Shop Boys records, stay for the needy rescue animals! (Okay, bad joke.) More information at Amoeba.com.

Sunday, Feb. 14, the L.A. Department of Animal Services holds a mobile pet-adoption event at the Kids Fun and Safety Festival held at West L.A.'s Sports Club/LA, 1835 Sepulveda Blvd., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 14, the Los Angeles Zoo hosts "Sex and the City Zoo," a Valentine's Day-themed event for animal lovers, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. From 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., docents will offer guided tours of the zoo's most beloved animal couples. A chocolate, champagne and wine reception begins at 3:30, followed by a presentation by Michael Dee, former general curator of the zoo, on the love lives of animals. Tickets are $35 for the general public and $25 for zoo members.  Reservations are required. For more information or to reserve tickets online, visit LAZoo.org.

Sunday, Feb. 14, spcaLA's P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village & Education Center,  7700 East Spring Street in Long Beach, holds a "Valentine's Day Yappy Hour" and adoption event from 3 to 4 p.m. Human guests get punch and cookies; shelter pets get Valentine's day treats; and local organization Haute Dogs will announce the winners of its Valentine's Day card contest, which invites Long Beach-area students to design cards for the shelter's dogs and cats. More information on the Valentine's card contest and Yappy Hour event at HauteDogs.org.

Sunday, Feb. 14, Culver City's Zoom Room agility training center hosts its "Zoom-entine's Day Singles Party," a mixer for dog lovers, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Cost is $20; proceeds benefit the Four-Legged Friends Foundation. For more information or to reserve tickets online, visit ZoomRoomOnline.com.

Upcoming:

Monday-Tuesday, Feb. 15-16, it's that time again -- Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show time, that is. The most prestigious dog show in the U.S. airs Monday from 8 to 9 p.m. on the USA Network and from 9 to 11 p.m. on CNBC; and Tuesday from 8 to 11 p.m. on USA. Three newly-recognized breeds make their Westminster debuts this year: The Pyrenean shepherd, the Norwegian buhund and the Irish red-and-white setter. For more information and a judging schedule, visit WestminsterKennelClub.org.

Saturday, Feb. 20, spcaLA hosts a low-cost vaccination and microchip clinic from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its Specialty Spay/Neuter Center, 5026 W. Jefferson Blvd. The clinic will offer rabies vaccinations for cats and dogs ($5); DHPP vaccinations for dogs ($15); bordetella vaccinations for dogs ($10); FVRCP and leukemia vaccinations for cats ($15 each); and microchipping for cats and dogs ($25). In honor of Spay Day U.S.A., goodie bags will be available during the clinic while supplies last. More information at spcaLA.com.

Saturday, Feb. 20, the Oxnard Police Department presents its "Happy Tails 911 Save a Homeless Pet Faire" from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside the Oxnard Fire Administration Building, 360 W 2nd Street in Oxnard. The event benefits local charity Operation Blankets of Love, which provides blankets and toys to the pets housed in Southern California shelters; guests are encouraged to bring blankets, towels and pet toys to donate. A voucher for a free rabies vaccination will be presented to each donor. Adoptable pets from Ventura County animal shelters and area rescue groups will be on hand, and the event also features a dog costume contest, K-9 police work demonstrations and a bake sale. A $10 donation is suggested for entrants to the costume contest, which begins at noon. Registration for the costume contest begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 11:30 a.m. More information at OxnardPD.org.

Saturday, Feb. 20, the L.A. Department of Animal Services hosts mobile pet-adoption events at Exposition Park, 3980 Menlo Ave., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and at downtown pet store Pussy & Pooch, 564 S. Main St., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Saturday, Feb. 20, Fullerton wine bar Twisted Vine Wines, 127 W. Commonwealth Ave., hosts a tasting event to benefit Orange County rescue group Barks of Love from 2 to 6 p.m. Wines and appetizers will be served and raffle prizes will also be offered. Cost is $40, with half of all tickets sales donated to Barks of Love. More information at TwistedVineWines.com.

Tuesday, Feb. 23 is the 16th annual Spay Day U.S.A.; events to encourage spaying and neutering of companion animals will be held across the country throughout the month of February to celebrate. To find events near you or to volunteer your services, visit HumaneSociety.org.

Saturday, Feb. 27, local rescue group The Mutt Scouts holds a bake sale to benefit its work on behalf of homeless dogs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. ("or until we run out," event organizers note) at the Home Ec crafting supplies store, 3815 W. Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake.

Sunday, Feb. 28, Haute Dogs hosts its annual Bulldog Beauty Contest from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Long Beach Marketplace, located at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and 2nd Street in Long Beach. Bulldogs aren't the only pets that can get in on the act, though; the pageant also features contests to choose the most beautiful senior dog (over 10 years of age), pug and French bulldog. For more information or to enter your pet, visit HauteDogs.org.

Sunday, Feb. 28, mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin performs a program of music by composers including Mozart, Gershwin, Sondheim,  Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo and Israeli composer Noam Sivan, with proceeds from the event benefiting the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind. The center offers trained leader dogs at no cost to vision-impaired Israelis and operates largely through charitable donations. Rubin, who is blind and has her own leader dog, explained that "as someone who knows the incredible benefits of a guide dog, there is no worthier cause to be supporting." The concert begins at 7:30 at the Colburn School of Music's Zipper Concert Hall, 200 S. Grand Ave. in downtown L.A. Tickets are $50, $20 for students, and can be purchased at BrownPaperTickets.com.

Mark Your Calendar:

Friday-Sunday, March 26-28, the Pasadena Humane Society hosts "The Well-Adjusted Cat and Dog Workshops" at its shelter facility, 361 South Raymond Ave. The workshops' featured speaker is Dr. Nicolas Dodman, BVMS, author and director of Tufts University's Animal Behavior Clinic. Dodman will cover issues ranging from phobias in dogs and cats, feline medical problems that may be mistaken for behavioral issues, strategies for dealing with litter box and furniture-scratching issues in cats and dominance issues in dogs. The workshops' three days will be divided into one daylong cat-behavior workshop and a two-day dog-behavior workshop. Early-bird registration lasts through Feb. 14; cost for early registrants is $99 for the cat workshop and $199 for the two-day dog workshop. More information and registration at ThePetDocs.com.

SpcaLA is taking reservations for its two weeklong "Friends For Life" spring day camps for children aged 9 to 12. Campers will learn about pet care and develop animal training skills by participating in obedience and agility classes with spcaLA's adoptable dogs. Guest speakers, training demonstrations and animal-related games and crafts are also on the schedule. First session runs from March 29 through April 2 at the organization's South Bay Pet Adoption Center, 12910 Yukon Ave., Hawthorne; second session runs from April 5 through April 9 at the South Bay Pet Adoption Center. Camp hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Cost is $250 per child; for more information or to register, visit spcaLA.com.

Friday-Sunday, April 16-18, America's Family Pet Expo returns to the Orange County Fair and Event Center, 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. The event features informational displays on dog breeds, adoptable animals, pet-themed vendors, a petting zoo, pony rides and demonstrations of activities ranging from dog grooming to K-9 police dog work to dock-diving dogs. Tickets are $12, $10 for seniors over age 60, $6 for children aged 6-12 and free for children 5 and under. More information at PetExpoOC.com.

Sunday, April 18, local rescue group New Leash on Life presents its fifth annual Nuts for Mutts 5K walk-a-thon in conjunction with the Calabasas Rotary Club and the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center. The walk-a-thon is a fundraiser for New Leash on Life's work on behalf of needy pets in the L.A. area and includes pet-themed exhibits, children's activities, a canine fashion show, a dog training clinic and more animal-related activities. The walk begins at 8 a.m. at the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center, 27040 Malibu Hills Road, and continues through the hills of Calabasas. Well-behaved and leashed dogs are welcome to participate. For more information or to register, visit NewLeash.org.

Ongoing:

Through Earth Day, April 22, 2010, secondhand-clothing store chain Buffalo Exchange and the Humane Society of the United States jointly host Coats for Cubs. Animal lovers are encouraged to clean out their closets (or parents' and grandparents' closets) and donate any real-fur items found there (including fur trim, accessories and shearling) back to the animals. Of course, it's too late to give the fur back to its original owner, but it can still be used as bedding for orphaned and injured wildlife -- and it doesn't do your conscience any harm either. Fur in any condition is accepted and can be taken to any Buffalo Exchange location. (If you'd like to claim your fur donation as a tax deduction, you'll need to mail it directly to the Humane Society rather than dropping it off at Buffalo Exchange; mailing information is available at HSUS.org.) More information at BuffaloExchange.com.

-- Lindsay Barnett

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Photo: fluffypups / Your Scene

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